Jéssica Oliveira is a queer mixed-race writer, community organizer, educator and facilitator. The eldest child of an interracial marriage, Jéssica was born in Brazil and moved to the United States with her family when she was eight. She is a gifted storyteller and intuitive facilitator who grounds her work in healing and transforming harm created by systems of oppression.
Upon graduating from Brigham Young University in Idaho with a B.A. in International Relations in 2012, Jéssica joined Teach For America, a network of leaders working to confront educational inequity through teaching and coalition building. This experience launched her into a lifetime commitment to movement building, social change, and healing from trauma.
At the Bridgespan Group, Jéssica provided essential administrative support to three top-level executives including the Boston Office Head and Head of Philanthropy: managing daily logistics and communications, overseeing special projects, and acting as the Boston-lead of the Black and Latinx employee resource group. During this time, Jéssica mentored colleagues experiencing burnout, held space for the harm caused by microaggressions, organized community and relationship building programs, and facilitated cross-hierarchical and cross-office discussions on equity. These experiences brought her to community organizing with Matahari Women Workers’ Center, a grassroots base-building organization focused on immigrant and gender justice, where she held listening sessions for multiracial and multilingual groups of immigrant women workers, defined organizational narrative priorities, provided spokesperson coaching and generated all external communications.
Jéssica is a 2019 Gish Jen Fellow at the Writers’ Room of Boston and a 2018 GrubStreet Emerging Writer Fellow. She is a fiction and creative non-fiction writer, and her work has been published in GRLSQUASH. Currently, she sits on the board of the Boston Immigrant Writers’ Salon and is rooted in Everett, MA.
When we understand people’s stories, then all of their actions, including all of the ways in which they hurt people, make sense.